I recently saw that April 10 is “National Encourage a Young Writer Day,” a holiday I was unaware of, but now am incredibly fond of. I always knew since I was a child that I had a passion for writing, but it seems like other people don’t usually acknowledge their love for this particular hobby until later in life.
However, what most people fail to recognize is that all humans are inherently natural storytellers. Every day we recount something that happened during our day or recall favorite memories in intricate detail. This makes our instinctive vivid imagination an easy head start in becoming an amazing young writer. However, there are additional steps that can aid you in pinpointing a hidden talent you may have never given a second thought.
Try a journal
When I was little, I always wanted to be one of those girls that could keep up with a diary, but I would get mad at myself for forgetting to log an entry every day. But over time, I’ve learned that it doesn’t necessarily have to be that strict. Merely having a designated writing place, like a journal, in general, provides the opportunity for daily writing in any way possible, and that’s what matters the most. This way, you have the option to jot down a short poem, lyrics that are stuck in your head, a line that you thought in your head was profound, or any other piece of work that comes to your mind. This is what makes you a creative artist! As long as you have a place to do so, you have the power to put your thoughts into writing at any time.
Find writing prompts
In a number of my writing courses, we begin class with a writing prompt, in hopes that they will invoke inspiration for a larger project or just get our “creative juices” flowing. I’ve found that it generally puts me in an artistic mood, which is why I follow an account on TikTok that posts one journal prompt every day (@pcy905) as well. I highly suggest searching for prompts that are available all over the internet, social media or buy an actual prompt journal as seen by Ink+Volt.
Another incredibly important factor in becoming a stronger writer is actually reading. This is because the more books, articles, essays or poems you read, your experience and knowledge about writing will increase. My vocabulary always grows exponentially after I finish a book binge, where I buy ten different stories and read them in a few days. While you can find a bunch of unique plots and styles in bookstores, you can also rent them from your local library, have a book swap with your friends or download tales on any electronic device such as a Kindle (although I am partial to paper page turns).
Expand your style
Not only should you attempt to read different genres and authors to gauge which style you enjoy most, but you should try writing multiple styles to find your own voice. As you change your perspective, you will also grow as a writer overall because you can mix and match different techniques! I usually always wrote fictional stories when I was younger, but I found my love of journalism by reading magazines and in return, writing for our campus newspaper. Additionally, I took a Creative Writing Non-Fiction course which turns out to be my favorite genre of writing – a realization I would have never found without attempting to try it!
Join different groups
Similar to trying different styles, you should join varying clubs to possibly uncover a passion you may not know yet. When I was a first-year, I scoured every writing club we had on campus: Stagnation, Spoons, Inkwell, Dogwood, Her Campus and The Mirror. And while I ended up only sticking with two of them, that’s totally okay! In any of these groups, you are able to read a bunch of your peer’s work and critique them while also receiving feedback from them about your work too. This also coincides with trying out an English course at Fairfield you hadn’t necessarily thought about too much. Make use of those elective opportunities and branch out, because who knows, you might reveal a new path in your future!
Writing is an important skill to have for everyday life, as it is a part of almost any communication process we have. However, being a writer is a very different title; which hopefully, these steps will help you understand.